Owner of The Wiener Haus.
Owner of The Wiener Haus.
He’s been slingin’ gourmet hot dogs and good times across the Gold Coast for the last five years and Paddy Skicko, owner of The Wiener Haus, has no plans to slow down just yet.
He travels with The Wiener Haus, one of the Coast’s original food trucks, from Brisbane to Byron Bay catering at huge events like Splendour in the Grass and, just last year, opened a diner (made from a shipping container) at Stockland Burleigh Heads.
We sat down for a chat with Paddy about watching bride’s smash hotdogs in wedding dresses and what it’s like to spend your days elbow deep in wieners.
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I’ve been on the Coast now for just over 10 years. I’m from country Victoria but I spent a lot of time traveling when I was younger. I did back and forth Europe winters for a few years then moved here after a boy’s roadtrip. We had an epic time and I knew I wasn’t going to go back to Europe for awhile so I thought I’d come here and give it a go.
What do you love about living here?
The lifestyle is just so good; we’re so lucky with this end of the Coast. I live in Nobby’s and love being able to go to Burleigh or ride a bike along the Esplanade. Every morning you can go to the beach and nine times out of ten it’s beautiful. I love the fact that I can nip out to the Scenic Rim and go camping too; it’s only half an hour away and reminds me of home.
Tell us how The Wiener Haus came about?
I started having the conversation about five years ago now; with a guy called Jessie I was friends with at the time. I wanted to get out of working as a labourer and I knew I had the skillset to get it done so we decided to go for it. We worked hard and after about six months, Jessie and myself parted ways and Zac came on board to help me with the side of things I’m not good at, like paperwork and invoicing. From there we started getting stadium gigs, then had the second marquee setup happening and now we have the shop, which I always wanted.
Why gourmet hot dogs?
I was originally going to do a café and I was very close to pulling the trigger on a toasted sandwich shop, because I love toasted sandwiches. I honestly just do things I enjoy and I really like hot dogs. Especially our new one, the Caesar, it’s a good combo, I think it’s the best one I’ve ever made.
Why did you decide to open the diner last year?
I wanted to try and make money seven days a week and I wanted to try and work less, in theory. That hasn’t happened at all, I work way more. I’ve worked in hospitality my whole life on and off and as much as I love working around the busy times, it’s hard to maintain a lifestyle that includes other people who don’t do that. The idea was to try and get some sort of normality in my life while still working in hospo. I wanted to have the opportunity to work every day but not have to always work Friday and Saturday night because I was sick of missing out on stuff. That was the plan and it has happened in some ways. Obviously we wanted to get bigger and keep making money but not always have to be on the grill.
What have been some of the best things about owning a food truck?
I’ve done some huge events. We did the Coldplay gig and the Manny Pacquiao fight, that was huge, game three of State of Origin, we did Splendour in the Grass, which was such a good time. Splendour has been a huge thing for us being the only Gold Coast food truck that goes down there and gets amongst it is really cool and we’re really proud of that. Lately we’ve been doing some cool events like the Beer InCider Festival in Brisbane and we’re doing the Crafted Beer and Cider Festival this weekend. We’ve done some rad bar openings where we rolled up and took the Barbie up on the elevator to cook on the rooftop too.
How has your life changed since the WH first began?
My phone rings at any time of the day, any day of the week, that’s been something I’m not that keen on. I do get half days off occasionally and my one day off a week but I think that’s just the way it is as a small business owner.
What are your thoughts on the Coast’s rapidly growing dining scene?
I love that there’s competition and I think it’s important that everyone has the right to have a go. I always try and eat at the small business venues if I can because there’s so many. That’s the problem too though, there’s just so many. The food truck game has gone from just The Wiener Haus and one other, nearly five years ago to now there being well over 100.
What’s the plan for you and The Wiener Haus over the next year?
We’re in an interesting position at the moment and we’re just trying to work it all out. We’ve got plenty of opportunities but I don’t know exactly what we’ll do yet. We obviously want to keep on making epic hotdogs, that’s the most important thing. We’re looking at new menu items but also focusing pretty hard on providing a good catering service, that’s our main thing. The shop is great, I don’t know if we’ll get another one but I do like the idea of more of a bar style hot dog shop but at the same time, I enjoy doing catering so I’d like to push harder in that direction. It’s hilarious to see a bride smash a hotdog in her wedding dress.
Favourites on the Coast:
Beach: Tallebudgera Creek, especially up the creek further on the other side of the bridge. I go kayaking up there and I’m lucky to see anyone, it’s so good.
Café: I go to All Time a lot, really good coffee and Nook is good too.
Restaurant: Goccia in Mermaid is proper Italian food, I’m a big fan.
How does your time off usually look: I’ve got two different time off things that I do and I try and rotate weekly. Definitely getting outdoors is a huge thing for me, I try and go camping at least once a fortnight just to camp and drink beers by a fire. The other thing is Netflix and chill and getting Uber Eats. I think it’s so important to turn off your phone and have that time away.
Oh Burleigh you little beauty, what’s not to love right? Since the dawn of time (or the dawn of the GC at least) Burleigh has been one of the most-loved suburbs amongst a slew of strong contenders.
Sure, the beach is beautiful (that Hill is iconic for a reason) and James Street boasts all the best eats and acai bowls galore but it’s more than that, Burleigh has a soul of its own born of cruisy, barefoot, salty seabreeze vibes you simply won’t find anywhere else.
Gushing aside, we’ve found the best of Burleigh so you don’t have to.
We say when in Burleigh do as the locals do, so here’s our guide to the best eats, bars, shopping spots and places to visit so you can see why the locals love it and you should too (or else).
The fine dining venue has become part of the fabric of Burleigh’s bustling heart, but it’s also become one of the Gold Coast’s premier dining destinations. Tucked away on West Street, the five-star, seasonal produce-led restaurant is an absolute must-visit and your dining experience there is one you won’t long forget. The produce is sustainable and the wine list is filled with some of the most stunning natural wines in the world. The service is impeccable too, but in a fun, not-too-formal way. We LOVE.
Where: 2A/8 West Street, Burleigh Heads
Literally opening out onto the sand at Burleigh beach, Rick Shores is loved (not only locally) for its stunning sunset views and those tiny little taste sensations otherwise known as Bug Rolls. If you’ve never tasted one, you’ve been wasting your life, make a booking RIGHT NOW and order them all. Wash them down with one of Rick’s signature cocktails and you’re a bonafide Burleigh-ite.
Where: Shop 3, Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
Yum, contemporary Cantonese food, we love you. Mr Hizola’s is dishing up the goods in the form of tasty share-style dishes and we are here for it. Particularly the sizzling steak dish that is all kinds of delicious and an array of epic cocktails to match.
Where: 1730 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
If you’re looking for fancy food but with the relaxed vibe that’s quintessentially Burleigh, look no further. The stunning space offers incredible Vietnamese dishes inspired by Head Chef Jake’s trip through Vietnam and a desire to eat some of the very best street food in the world every single day. Same. It’s a refined style of dining paired with mouthwatering cocktails and a sleek, paired back vibe. Jimmy Wahs is one of the Gold Coast’s most impressive eateries and we are big fans.
Where: 1724 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Burleigh Town Hotel
If you haven’t seen this new reno, then where have you been? One of the best glow ups on the GC recently (in our humble opinion), Burleigh Town Hotel has nailed the pub-style menu and good vibes. The perfect place to set up for the arvo with your besties and the kids, there’s loads of space for the little ones to roam and plenty to keep them entertained while you kick back with a beverage in hand. Say less.
Where: Tsipura Drive, Burleigh Heads
Burleigh Gelato Co
We’re softies for the sweet deliciousness that is gelato. Burleigh Gelato Co know how to deliver on flavours worth melting for, they’ve got all the classic Italian flavours you know and love along with their own signature specials. Guaranteed you’ll love them un-cone-ditionally.
Where: 9 Connor Street, Burleigh Heads
The guys behind Seadog know coffee. Starting as a humble little hole in the wall – literally – Seadog has become the go-to for a quick bite and a brew. And don’t worry, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you – you really are seeing double because you’ll find the crew on the bustling James Street or down the other end at the old faithful Burleigh Bowlo, perfect spot for a piccolo and park hangs.
Where: 8/50 James Street, Burleigh Heads and 1, Bowls Club, Connor Street, Burleigh Heads
Tarte Bakery & Cafe
There’s good reason this gem is heaving at all hours, the home of the iconic muffin top (IYKYK) and some of the best coffee in town, it’s not just locals who love it – you’ll find Gold Coasters and beyond flocking here for a taste of the goods. Come for a coffee and to get around their huge menu with something for everyone – literally, it’s impossible to not love something. Plus, we’re pretty sure it’s mandatory to leave with a pastry in tow – go on, you deserve it.
Where: 1748 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
Social by name, social by nature – Social Brew is one of Burleigh’s best coffee hangouts whether you’re looking to catch up with the crew or a spot to work for the day, there’s a reason these guys have stood the test of time. A staple spot to visit in Burleigh for their signature iced coffee, come for the caffeine and stay for the bites.
Where: 34-36 James Street, Burleigh Heads
The baked goods that come out of this friendly little bakery are honestly something else. Owners Geoff and Lisa are passionate about baking and opened Burleigh Baker to provide us with the best tasting and most nutritious Artisan Sourdough and boy do they deliver. They use only the finest ingredients and the traditional process of fermentation. Do not buy bread anywhere else. You’re welcome.
Where: 13/50 James Street, Burleigh Heads
Something To Drink
Paloma Wine Bar
From the brains that brought us Labart is the one and only Paloma. This small but mighty wine bar has one of the largest selections of boutique wines (we mean, it is in the name) with some seriously epic eats to accompany. We can’t go past the steak frites – seriously, don’t sleep on this – and if you don’t know where to start on what to sip the expert team always nail the reccos. Pop a Pet Nat on your must-try for something a little bubbly or if you’re more of a red drinker, their signature chilled reds are the ultimate for a hot summer’s day.
Where: 12 James Street, Burleigh Heads
It’s the good time, slightly fancy Australiana bar of your dreams and it is perfectly at home in Burleigh Heads. Rosella’s very quickly became a firm local favourite when it opened last year and with both a drinks and food menu made up entirely of Australian produce, we are in love. There are cocktails made with Nutri Grain, some of the tastiest toasties around and all the very best Aussie beers. It’s refined, beautifully decked out and created by a couple of absolute legends. Love.
Where: 6/1734 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Justin Lane Rooftop
Don your finest frock and rally up your girlfriends for a Sunday session and a spot of people watching on the roof at Justin Lane. With cocktails in hand and a balmy breeze blowing in through the windows, you need never go anywhere else again. After a few hours, pop downstairs for one of Justin’s famous pizzas and that’s your Sunday sorted.
Where: 1708 – 1710 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
A somewhat hidden little speakeasy in the heart of Burleigh Heads, Lockwood Bar specialise in all of the very best varieties of whiskey along with many a local tipple transformed into tasty cocktails. It’s a laidback, jazz bar kind of vibe, low lit, often with live music and once you’re inside, you likely won’t want to leave. We dig it.
Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads
Burleigh Brewing Co.
If there’s one thing Burleigh deserves (the big legend), it’s a brewery and Burleigh Brewing Co. certainly delivers. After opening in 2006, Burleigh Brewing Co. has produced nine delicious drops with delightful names such as ‘My Wife’s Bitter’ and ‘FIGJAM’ – perfectly Burleigh. Get a sixer for Netflix and chill or head into the brewery from Wednesday to Sunday afternoons to get amongst it. There’s live tunes too, what a combination.
Where: 2 Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh Heads
Something To Do
Well hasn’t this simple little piece of Mother Nature become a local legend? No matter the day of the week (but particularly Sunday arvos) “the hill” as it’s affectionately known is packed with picnic rugs, ball games and groups of revelers basking in the sunshine. Looking out over the ocean and with the city in the distance, it’s the perfect spot for a late afternoon lemonade or early morning coffee date with the crew. If you’re feeling energetic, take a stroll around the hill to Talle Creek for some Insta-worthy scenery or if you’re into hill and chill then order some takeaway and perch up on a picnic blanket to soak up the scenery.
Where: The south end of The Esplanade, Burleigh Heads
Burleigh Bowls Club
A relaxing little beachside club loved by young and old alike, Burleigh Bowls has been around since 1937 and is certainly a prime piece of real estate these days. Barefoot Bowls roll on from 12 to 5pm every Sunday and it’s a measly $5 per person including coaching and bowls (AKA ball whipper snappers). Live music can be heard on Sunday arvos from 2 to 6pm. Get down and support your local while sipping on a schooner.
Where: Connor Street, Burleigh Heads
David Fleay Wildlife Park
Nestled in the heart of Burleigh Heads, David Fleay’s is a wildlife park with a difference. Stroll through the tranquil surroundings to experience some of Queensland’s most iconic natural habitats and meet the resident wildlife — all in just one day. Explore the park solo or join the dedicated Park Rangers at the daily wildlife shows.
Where: Corner of West Burleigh Road and Loman Lane in West Burleigh
Shop With Us
If you’re in need of some retail therapy then James Street is the only place you need to go. The range of shopping has everything you need whether you’re looking for some new additions to your home from Maison & Maison or to update your wardrobe at Emte you’re guaranteed to leave suitably more stylish. If you’re looking for the perfect piece of art to dress your walls at work or home, Art Yarramunua is our pick for their incredible collection of indigenous art, expertly curated to celebrate the rich cultural history of Australia’s indigenous communities.
Where: James Street, Burleigh Heads
Burleigh Farmers Markets
Everyone’s favourite Saturday morning market adventure. Get up early, grab your basket and set out in search of fruit, veggies and of course, your first coffee of the weekend. These days the farmers market also boast locally made clothing and homewares, flowers, meat and seafood and delicious breaky and lunch options. There’s also live music and plenty of laughter floating around. Happy days.
Where: Burleigh Heads State School, Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
The Village Markets
Our beloved boutique fashion and lifestyle market, The Village Markets, is home to hundreds of local makers and has helped to launch the international careers of countless creatives. Head down for an early morning coffee and breakfast while wandering through the stalls until it’s time for lunch. Oh, and there’s always live music if you need a breather. It’s the best way to spend a sunny Sunday
Where: Burleigh Heads State School, Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Well Gold Coasters, we have officially seen everything. Just a few days ago Burleigh Heads became home to a new coffee joint but it is not your average caffeine slinging space, no sir.
It is in fact a literal hole in the wall where an ATM once doled out your daily cash needs, a barista will now dole out your daily caffeine needs. How fun.
That barista is Brodie Green, also the owner of Seadog Burleigh, and the mastermind behind the idea to turn a recently removed ATM into a takeaway coffee shop.
Found next door to J St Barbers, Seadog rolled up their doors just last week and have already cemented themselves as firm favourites in the Burleigh coffee scene.
The reason for such immediate popularity is three-fold. First, Seadog uses organic coffee from Peru (Org) and it is quite the smooth, mellow drop, we dig it (and Seadog is the only spot on the Coast serving it).
Second, Brodie’s smiling face greeting folks from the inside compact space, all stoked and passionate about serving epic brews and third, said compact space bringing a little bit of fun back to our fave little beachside suburb.
What a treat.
Not only exceptional coffee though, you may also sample housemade Jun, a fermented beverage similar to kombucha but made with white tea instead of black, housemade ginger beer and cold-pressed juice from Brisbane legends, Harvest.
There are raw treats to nibble on and plenty of good vibes to soak up too.
Brodie, a third generation Gold Coaster, is also keen to help other young locals open businesses by doing something completely unique but also completely within his financial means and that friends, is something we can get behind. Stay tuned for more on that later.
Oh and here’s a sweet tale; the name Seadog came about when Brodie and his sis took a trip to Brunswick Heads and he asked her what he should name his new venture. She pointed to a building with a lifesaver that said Seadog, they laughed about how he would never call it such a thing and then he did, just to remember that moment.
That’s pretty much the epitome of a business built with a whole lot of heart if you ask us. Which you didn’t, but here we all are.
Get down there and give Seadog some love.
LOCATION: 50 James St, Burleigh Heads
HOURS: 6am until 2pm daily
Words and photos by Kirra Smith